Florida Senate - 2011                                     SB 380
       By Senator Wise
       5-00044B-11                                            2011380__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to the certification of child welfare
    3         personnel; amending s. 402.40, F.S.; revising
    4         legislative intent; defining the terms “child welfare
    5         certification” and “professional credentialing
    6         entity”; requiring persons who provide child welfare
    7         services to be certified by a professional
    8         credentialing entity approved by the Department of
    9         Children and Family Services; providing requirements
   10         for department approval; deleting requirements
   11         relating to the establishment of a department training
   12         program, including training academies; revising the
   13         use of a department trust fund; deleting certain
   14         rulemaking authority of the department; providing an
   15         effective date.
   17  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   19         Section 1. Section 402.40, Florida Statutes, is amended to
   20  read:
   21         402.40 Certification of child welfare personnel training.—
   22         (1) LEGISLATIVE INTENT.—In order to enable the state to
   23  provide a systematic approach to staff development and training
   24  for persons providing child welfare services that will meet the
   25  needs of such staff in their discharge of duties, It is the
   26  intent of the Legislature that each person providing child
   27  welfare services in this state earns and maintains a
   28  professional certification from a professional credentialing
   29  entity that is approved by the Department of Children and Family
   30  Services establish, maintain, and oversee the operation of child
   31  welfare training academies in the state. The Legislature further
   32  intends that the staff development and training programs that
   33  are established will aid in the reduction of poor staff morale
   34  and of staff turnover, will positively impact on the quality of
   35  decisions made regarding children and families who require
   36  assistance from programs providing child welfare services, and
   37  will afford better quality care of children who must be removed
   38  from their families.
   39         (2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
   40         (a) “Child welfare certification” means a professional
   41  credential awarded to persons who have demonstrated competency
   42  and proficiency in a child welfare services practice area
   43  through the achievement of education, professional experience,
   44  and examination requirements that have been developed according
   45  to nationally recognized certification and psychometric
   46  standards.
   47         (b)(a) “Child welfare services” means any intake,
   48  protective investigations, preprotective services, protective
   49  services, foster care, shelter and group care, and adoption and
   50  related services program, including supportive services,
   51  supervision, and legal services, provided to children who are
   52  alleged to have been abused, abandoned, or neglected, or who are
   53  at risk of becoming, are alleged to be, or have been found
   54  dependent pursuant to chapter 39.
   55         (c)(b) “Person providing child welfare services” means a
   56  person who has a responsibility for supervisory, legal, direct
   57  care, or support-related support related work in the provision
   58  of child welfare services pursuant to chapters 39 and 409
   59  chapter 39.
   60         (d) “Professional credentialing entity” means a department
   61  approved nonprofit organization that is governed by a board of
   62  directors composed of members who represent the population for
   63  which it awards credentials.
   64         (3) CHILD WELFARE CERTIFICATION.—Any person providing child
   65  welfare services in this state must earn and maintain a child
   66  welfare certification issued by a professional credentialing
   67  entity.
   68         (4) PROFESSIONAL CREDENTIALING ENTITIES.—The department
   69  shall approve one or more professional credentialing entities
   70  for the purpose of awarding child welfare certification to
   71  persons who provide child welfare services. A professional
   72  credentialing entity shall request such approval in writing from
   73  the department. In order to obtain approval, the professional
   74  credentialing entity must:
   75         (a) Establish professional requirements and standards that
   76  applicants must achieve in order to obtain a child welfare
   77  certification and to maintain such certification;
   78         (b) Develop and apply core competencies and examination
   79  instruments according to nationally recognized certification and
   80  psychometric standards;
   81         (c) Maintain a professional code of ethics and a
   82  disciplinary process that apply to all persons holding child
   83  welfare certification;
   84         (d) Maintain a database, accessible to the public, of all
   85  persons holding child welfare certification, including any
   86  history of ethical violations; and
   87         (e) Require annual continuing education requirements for
   88  persons holding child welfare certification.
   89         (3) CHILD WELFARE TRAINING PROGRAM.—The department shall
   90  establish a program for training pursuant to the provisions of
   91  this section, and all persons providing child welfare services
   92  shall be required to participate in and successfully complete
   93  the program of training pertinent to their areas of
   94  responsibility.
   96         (a) There is created within the State Treasury a Child
   97  Welfare Training Trust Fund to be used by the Department of
   98  Children and Family Services for the purpose of funding the
   99  professional development a comprehensive system of child welfare
  100  training, including the securing of consultants to develop the
  101  system and the developing of child welfare training academies
  102  that include the participation of persons providing child
  103  welfare services.
  104         (b) One dollar from every noncriminal traffic infraction
  105  collected pursuant to s. 318.14(10)(b) or s. 318.18 shall be
  106  deposited into the Child Welfare Training Trust Fund.
  107         (c) In addition to the funds generated by paragraph (b),
  108  The trust fund shall also receive funds generated from an
  109  additional fee on birth certificates and dissolution of marriage
  110  filings, as specified in ss. 382.0255 and 28.101, respectively,
  111  and may receive funds from any other public or private source.
  112         (d) Funds that are not expended by the end of the budget
  113  cycle or through a supplemental budget approved by the
  114  department shall revert to the trust fund.
  115         (5) CORE COMPETENCIES.—
  116         (a) The Department of Children and Family Services shall
  117  establish the core competencies for a single integrated
  118  curriculum that ensures that each person delivering child
  119  welfare services obtains the knowledge, skills, and abilities to
  120  competently carry out his or her work responsibilities. This
  121  curriculum may be a compilation of different development efforts
  122  based on specific subsets of core competencies that are
  123  integrated for a comprehensive curriculum required in the
  124  provision of child welfare services in this state.
  125         (b) The identification of these core competencies shall be
  126  a collaborative effort to include professionals with expertise
  127  in child welfare services and providers that will be affected by
  128  the curriculum, to include, but not be limited to,
  129  representatives from the community-based care lead agencies,
  130  sheriffs’ offices conducting child protection investigations,
  131  and child welfare legal services providers.
  132         (c) Notwithstanding s. 287.057(3) and (21), the department
  133  shall competitively solicit and contract for the development,
  134  validation, and periodic evaluation of the training curricula
  135  for the established single integrated curriculum. No more than
  136  one training curriculum may be developed for each specific
  137  subset of the core competencies.
  138         (6) ADVANCED TRAINING.—The Department of Children and
  139  Family Services shall annually examine the advanced training
  140  that is needed by persons who deliver child welfare services in
  141  the state. This examination shall address whether the current
  142  advanced training provided should be continued and shall include
  143  the development of plans for incorporating any revisions to the
  144  advanced training determined necessary. This examination shall
  145  be conducted in collaboration with professionals with expertise
  146  in child welfare services and providers that will be affected by
  147  the curriculum, to include, but not be limited to,
  148  representatives from the community-based care lead agencies,
  149  sheriffs’ offices conducting child protection investigations,
  150  and child welfare legal services providers.
  152  department shall, in collaboration with the professionals and
  153  providers described in subsection (5), develop minimum standards
  154  for a certification process that ensures that participants have
  155  successfully attained the knowledge, skills, and abilities
  156  necessary to competently carry out their work responsibilities
  157  and shall develop minimum standards for trainer qualifications
  158  which must be required of training academies in the offering of
  159  the training curricula. Any person providing child welfare
  160  services shall be required to master the components of the
  161  curriculum that are particular to that person’s work
  162  responsibilities.
  163         (8) ESTABLISHMENT OF TRAINING ACADEMIES.—The department
  164  shall establish child welfare training academies as part of a
  165  comprehensive system of child welfare training. In establishing
  166  a program of training, the department may contract for the
  167  operation of one or more training academies to perform one or
  168  more of the following: to offer one or more of the training
  169  curricula developed under subsection (5); to administer the
  170  certification process; to develop, validate, and periodically
  171  evaluate additional training curricula determined to be
  172  necessary, including advanced training that is specific to a
  173  region or contractor, or that meets a particular training need;
  174  or to offer the additional training curricula. The number,
  175  location, and timeframe for establishment of training academies
  176  shall be approved by the Secretary of Children and Family
  177  Services who shall ensure that the goals for the core
  178  competencies and the single integrated curriculum, the
  179  certification process, the trainer qualifications, and the
  180  additional training needs are addressed. Notwithstanding s.
  181  287.057(3) and (21), the department shall competitively solicit
  182  all training academy contracts.
  183         (9) ADOPTION OF RULES.—The Department of Children and
  184  Family Services shall adopt rules necessary to carry out the
  185  provisions of this section.
  186         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2011.